Did you know: the phobia of not having a smartphone is now widespread, and doctors call it 'nomophobia'

Did you know: the phobia of not having a smartphone is now widespread, and doctors call it 'nomophobia'
It's been well established by now that smartphones are generally everywhere. More than half of America owns at least one, and global smartphone users are projected to reach 2 billion next year! Now, enjoying apps and being connected is a great thing by itself, but there's a dark side to it and you may be wallowing in it right now.

Tell us, do you find yourself stricken by the following symptoms - anxiety whenever you don't have your smartphone on you; constantly holding the bugger in hand, checking notifications and scrolling endless information feeds; experiencing phantom vibrations (yes, this is real); missing out on conversations, movies, and everyday life; forgetting random things that you definitely shouldn't be forgetting about because you're constantly thinking of stuff you saw on social networks.

If at least two of these checked out, boy, we've got news for you! You are a sufferer of nomophobia — that is, the phobia of not having a smartphone all the darn time! Yes, just like phantom vibrations, this stuff is legitimately real. It's a rush of anxiety and fear upon realizing that you're no longer connected to the stream of updates from friends and news sources. Yikes! Your connection breaking off, your battery dying, data plan expiring, or, fate forbid, forgetting your phone or losing it somewhere — all of those factors can induce bouts of nomophobia in the smartphone-using population.

While some 20% of Americans aged 18-34 indulge in texting while having sex, and many others use their smartphones in the shower or in the car, research by Versapak says that a whopping 41% of surveyed Britons complained about feeling anxious and not in control when they are away from their beloved handsets, while more than 51% admit to dealing with "extreme tech anxiety". According to Mr. Leon Edwards from Versapak, disconnecting from technology can be "surprisingly stressful" with the fear of "missing out" it invokes in those unfortunate souls.

Somewhat amusingly, another survey from SecurEnvoy claims that 70% of women suffer from nomophobia as opposed to 61% of men. Is it that ladies get more emotional over their smartphones, or that they are generally chattier and more connected? Now that would make for a complicated question, which we'll leave to someone else to tackle!

By the way, the impact of smartphone addiction on our society is now comparable to that of smoking. As smoke-free zones have become commonplace in public places, so have "no cellphone" signs emerged in all sorts of establishments — bar, restaurants, cinemas, even airport lounges and the like. See, smartphones have gotten us to the point of having to enforce the common courtesy of paying attention to your partners through artificial restrictions!


So, how do we cure nomophobia? Well, as it is with surprisingly many things in life, the cure is in you! Fight the habit with common sense and eliminating bad practices. Don't text and check updates while driving — you could end up in an accident. Don't take your phone in the bathroom — you'll get germs on it and waste precious time. And, generally, unless you are alone and someplace chill, just put the darn phone down — you can bet the life that goes on around you is more important than your notifications.

If all else fails — when you don't have to juggle emails and updates, change your smartphone for a cellphone with no Internet connectivity and go about your day like it's 1999 and WAP is a thing for rich businessmen. The world won't crumble. You won't miss out on anything of importance. You won't suffer from nomophobia. Isn't it just dandy?

source: Psychology Today

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